Sunday, May 8, 2011
194.6 lbs. That’s 30 down. Let the church bells ring throughout the land.
I was dutifully “jogging” away on the treadmill (got the damned one that didn’t dial down on speed And they’re supposed to. I saw the guy next to me adjust his speed downward) when a little splinter of a girl got on the one next to me. I got the “fat bitch” stink eye (It exists. I’ve gotten it with the actual verbiage). Whereas I was sweating (with pride, I might add), puffing and grabbing for my water at 4.1 MPH, She Who Felt Herself Superior was walking at a brisk 2 MPH and sipping a Red Bull. I did admire her screaming purple sneakers, though.
The last 10 pound mark was March 2, 2011 at 204.8 lbs. I was still on the HCG Reduced Calorie Protocol at that point and it had taken 5 weeks to get there from 224.6 lbs. on January 31. From March 2 to May 8, is 8 weeks, give or take a day or two. It’s been a fight every step of the way. And the fight still continues. The next milestone is 191.5 lbs., the dividing line between obese and merely overweight. That’s 3.1 lbs., for those tracking progress.
As far as milestones, there are the decade marks and there are the Twin Towers: the BMI dividing lines between obesity and overweight, also between overweight and normal. When articles appear in the paper, investigative journalists speak solemnly into the camera and hucksters try to sell lose weight fast schemes, the buzz words of choice are “obese” and “obesity” accompanied by video of people shot from the neck down, bellies, butts and chins jiggling (I wonder, when folks recognize themselves on these pieces, how do they react. Clearly, there is a subtext of shame attached). You’ve heard me bitch about how this is the last safe prejudice. The media coverage plays into that. Whereas the news pieces on illegal immigrants play up the “sapping your tax dollars by leaching off welfare, Medicaid and other social support programs,” the parallel programs covering “The Obesity Epidemic” play up the notion of overweight people hogging health care resources because of their diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am still considered obese (30.5 BMI), but my last blood pressure reading was 98/65, my last total cholesterol level was 143 and my blood sugar is normal. There are people (men and women) within the normal BMI range whose blood chemistry is far worse. These are the things you can’t see just by looking at a person, but we’re being taught to assume that every fat person out there is in immediate need of Lipitor, an insulin pen and blood pressure meds.
Cruise on over to www.danceswithfat.wordpress.com and check out the picture on the blog. I’ll wait. This is Regan Chastain, a dancer. See that pose? A lot of the scrawns out there cannot pull off that flexibility, strength and balance. If you put five slender non-dancers in street clothes next to Ms. Chastain in street clothes and asked people to pick the dancer, I’ll guarantee you that 95% would not choose Regan Chastain. The 5% who did choose her, would do so because they sense a trick (her blog is pretty good, too).
Now, I will grant you that there are fat people out there making really bad choices about diet and exercise. There are also plenty of thin people out there doing the same, e.g., the young woman sucking down a Red Bull this morning while ambling on the treadmill. The trick is to recognize what the better choices are and to make them.
According to Dr. Brain Chemistry (hey, if he’s reading this and wants to kick a little green my way, I will name names), part of the inability to make the better choices lies in chemical imbalances within the brain. I have applied some of his teachings to myself and find that cravings are gone (except for today when, after the misadventures on the treadmill followed by an hour of Pilates, I wanted protein and lots of it. Chickens of the world, beware). I have more energy and I’m motivated to hit the gym. These changes came about AFTER I had started taking the supplements he suggested for improving brain chemistry.
One of Dr. Brain Chemistry’s suggestions is to eliminate gluten (this was also the suggestion of another public TV infomercial disguised as a fund-raiser. This lady was very concerned with your gut and pooping). I had eliminated that from my diet because of the rules for HCG and its follow-up. However, when I started to include oatmeal as part of my preparation for a strenuous workout, it immediately caused problems that could be seen on the scale, my skin and the sudden constant nasal congestion. Eliminating it again made these symptoms disappear as quickly as they came. Give it a test drive: go 7 days with no gluten: nothing made with wheat, barley, rye or oats. This includes beer, vodka and whiskey. And soy sauce (No Kikkoman bombs in your Bud Lite). 7 days. And if that makes you feel better, keep it going.If you don’t feel any changes, celebrate with a boiler maker. No disrespect to the wheat farmers out there; they do valuable service. It’s just that their product is not suited to everyone and the symptoms of gluten intolerance can show up in so many different places in your body, it’s not necessarily the first thought. The saying is that when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. Hey, sometimes they ARE zebras, especially if those symptoms continue for months or years (chronic sinus problems? Drop the bread for a week. You may be able to drop the Sudafed and Zyrtec for life. Can’t hurt to try).
(I may be repeating myself and I apologize for doing so) I am a student of the Law of Attraction, which is “The Secret” and Napoleon Hill and Esther Hicks and Dale Carnegie and “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” They all reference gratitude as a starting place for improving one’s life, including health. Even Dr. Brain Chemistry incorporates it as part of his program. “Every day, list 5 things in your life you’re grateful for.” (The proper English is “List 5 things in your life for which you are grateful, but that’s quibbling). There are skeptics and critics to this approach and doubt as to whether it’s effective. Put it to you this way: it easier to get through difficult situations (including extremely difficult ones, like homelessness, getting robbed, long-term unemployment. Yes, I have experienced all of that) with a positive attitude than it is with a defeatist, pessimistic attitude. And you’re more likely to attract help. Being grateful for the right food, the motivation to get up and move, having access to clean water, feeling better, etc. attract more of the same. I’m grateful today for having reached the 30 lb. milestone, for having gone to the gym and done the workout that I did (only I will bump the cardio to an hour. It’s brutal, but it’ll get easier. It’s tough, but it’s effective), for having stuck with the eating plan, for a good night’s sleep and that the supplements and all the water I’m taking in are doing their thing. I like the fact that my gym clothes get wet and icky from the effort I’m putting forward. I’m grateful for the smaller clothes I’ve had to buy. I’m grateful for the good blood pressure readings, the muscles emerging from under the flab. All these things make me feel good and make me want to keep at it.
What else makes me grateful? The Lakers got swept out of the playoffs. I may be a positive person, but I’m also a Celtics fan.